Started around 11 AM at the Basin parking lot intending to do the regular Flume-Liberty loop. It turned out that the boot track led up the slide itself, and not the regular Flume Slide trail. Since we only had microspikes and poles for gear, we were forced to take an indirect, complicated route up the slide, following trees in order to minimize the risk of a long uncontrolled fall. At one point we reached a sketchy area of loose ice-covered talus, and were forced to retrace our steps several hundred feet down to find a safer route. Because of all this, the slide took up nearly three hours from top to bottom! Eventually we topped out on a small ridge leading leading right up to the summit of Mt. Flume. From there we resumed the Flume-Liberty loop, descending the Liberty Springs Trail as usual. All in all, a fun and unexpectedly adventure-filled day!
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe